Sunday, August 26, 2012

And So School Begins

I have a dear friend who finished her PhD in the spring.  Shortly after graduation, she interviewed for and was offered a tenure-line position at a quality university.  A month ago she received a letter in the mail from her new university welcoming her to the program and outlining her orientation schedule.

The letter began, "Dear Professor Moore."

She did a double-take.  She told me, "I looked at the letter and thought, Who's that?"  Then I realized it was me.  And then I threw up."

She's absolutely going to make it.

This fall marks my thirteenth year of teaching, the last eight of which have been at the university-level.  Tomorrow is the first day of classes.

Admittedly, I still get slightly nervous on the first day.  Earlier this evening I carefully packed my work bag, wrote down my assigned classrooms, and picked out what clothes I'm going to wear in case I'm incapable of making a decision tomorrow morning.  (This closet-induced mental paralysis has been known to happen.  I stand there like a lost child, mindlessly sliding hangers along the rod as I give myself a weak pep-talk: Think, Robin, think!  You can do this.  You're capable of dressing yourself!)

Tonight I'll triple-check my alarm clock.  Tomorrow morning I'll throw out half of my cereal instead of eating it all like I normally do. And then, at the moment when I pass out copies of the syllabus and begin talking to my new students, I'll be just fine.

This twinge of nervousness, pesky as it is, reminds me that I care.  Plus, I love that I can sit down with my seven-year-old who's just two days shy of starting second grade, and tell her that I understand how she's feeling.

It doesn't matter if you're climbing on the school bus, watching your children as they're climbing on the school bus, or facing a group of college students from the front of the classroom.  Everyone feels these first days of school.

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7 comments:

  1.  And to think after a couple weeks into things it's all old hat to me now. Ha. Just kidding. Enjoy your first week!

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  2. May your first day of school begin a year filled with wonder, awe, eureka moments and lots of laughs....

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  3. I hope you have a great first day!  You're going to be awesome, I'm not even worried.  
    We started school over hear at the Bunker Academy today and for our first day so far I am wearing flowered pajama pants and an old blue t-shirt with a hole under the arm.  Classy, right?  I bet you look a lot nicer on your first day.

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  4. I wrote a similar post on the first day jitters today as well! It's amazing how, after all these years, I still am a bit anxious at the beginning of another year!

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  5. Thanks for the vote of encouragement, Ami.  I hope that the Bunker Academy has a wonderful year, as well!  (You continually amaze and impress me, my friend!)

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